SF Books: Now With Less Reading

Illustration for article titled SF Books: Now With Less Reading

Want to get into some SF literature but need to use your eyes for driving instead of reading? Then there are two new audible SF delights awaiting you: Amazon subsidiary Audible.com gives you Audible Frontiers, a new imprint for audio versions of SF and fantasy books by authors like Allen Steele, Neal Stephenson and Fritz Lieber, amongst others. Meanwhile, indie podcast StarShipSofa will be bringing you fiction, poetry, science, and author profiles twice a week. More on both below.


The trick to Audible's imprint is that the new line will be providing all-new works in addition to previously-print-published writing. According to Publishers Weekly:

The imprint... will feature original works from a number of authors such as Jack Campbell, Harry Turtledove, Mike Resnick, Allen Steele and Connie Willis. In addition, through deals with HarperCollins, Macmillan Audio, Recorded Books, Blackstone Audio, Harlequin and Wonder Audio Audible is offering exclusive digital downloads from some of those publishers' bestselling science fiction writers. As part of the imprint, Hugo Award-winning author Orson Scott Card will make monthly recommendations, and the first OSC Selects is Star Born by Andre Norton, priced at $17.47.

If any of the current titles aren't to your taste, then keep checking back; the plan is to use the imprint to expand the already 1500+ SF audiobooks available on the site.

StarShipSofa producer Tony Smith says of the podcast:

Each week the StarShipSofa will deliver a full package of SF related audio material all free including audio fiction, fact audio essays, flash fiction and poetry, all by leading names in the SF field. Many many writers have agreed to let StarShipSofa narrate their works including Ben Bova, Joe Haldeman, Alistair Reynolds, M John Harrison, Ian Watson, Pat Cadigan, Harry Harrison, Joan D Vinge, Norman Spinrad, Ian MacDonald, J D Nordley, Bruce Sterling, Gweneth Jones, Landon Jones, John Varley, Pat Murphy, John Kessel, Laurel Winter, Jeff Vandermeer, Kevin J Anderson, Bradley Denton and Matthew Hughes, Ian Whates, Ken MacLoed, Ted Chiang, Elizabeth Bear, Mary Rosenblum, Nancy Kress and Chaz Brenchley. There will be two shows per week, the Wednesday show, also know as Aural Delights will contain narrated audio fiction, fact and poerty and the weekend show will be an in depth look into an author's life and work

Strap into your rockets and get listening! Image by ldandersen.
Audible Frontiers [via Publishers Weekly]

StarShipSofa [official site]





I have to agree - of the 6-digit dollars to scores-of-millions of bucks that a song/book/movie brings in, the artists receive the thinnest sliver of a fraction of a percentage. The business model is broken and horribly dysfunctional. The middleman distributors monopolize all aspects of it - despite the risks they undertake in supporting a burgeoning new artist - not worth it.

Until we destroy the cancer that is music/book/movie digital media distribution, a lot of 'bodies' will be hurt as part of the process. Income can be made by live performance/ self-promotion/ collective-agreement/distribution under CC or pooled advertising dollars - tv advertisement dollars are itching to come over to new-media and they represent values far in excess of book and music revenues. The movie industry called foul when recordable VCRs came out only to realize (aside from the fact that they were ruled against) that widespread income-less distribution and 'cheap' awareness was a far better income-gathering tool than direct sales. Its a tough pill - but the world will be better off for having swallowed it.